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How would you make this joint?

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Forum topic by BoilerUp21 posted 06-01-2021 12:36 AM 779 views 2 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BoilerUp21

180 posts in 2017 days


06-01-2021 12:36 AM

Making an table almost identical to this one:

Legs and top will be 1.25” thick and looking for suggestions on how to make this box joint on a large scale where a typical box joint jig will not work…

Make a template, and use a flush trim bit to remove majority of material and chisel the corners square?

Cut the wood into strips and glue up offset to create the box joints on the ends of each leg and both ends of the table?

Want to leave as little room for error so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


15 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3108 posts in 1838 days


#1 posted 06-01-2021 01:11 AM

Cutting and offsetting should work, but so shoud a router jig. You may need a helper and a stool, but a router jig would be my first thought. How wide is the top slab?

If you stagger two slabs, on for the top and one for the end one, you can cut the end one in the middle to get two pieces staggered on one end and even on the other.

Glue up in pairs for symmetry or the ends won’t come out right.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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BoilerUp21

180 posts in 2017 days


#2 posted 06-01-2021 01:35 AM



Cutting and offsetting should work, but so shoud a router jig. You may need a helper and a stool, but a router jig would be my first thought. How wide is the top slab?

If you stagger two slabs, on for the top and one for the end one, you can cut the end one in the middle to get two pieces staggered on one end and even on the other.

Glue up in pairs for symmetry or the ends won t come out right.

- Madmark2

The top will be 36” wide so i will most likely have (9) 4” sections on each side to make the box joint for the legs. Since my boards are 8-12” wide currently, id rather not rip them down just to glue them back up.

I think i will cut 4” wide strips of mdf, and use double sided tape to offset and secure them to the top before using a flush trim bit to cut the joinery.

Thanks

View SMP's profile

SMP

4851 posts in 1155 days


#3 posted 06-01-2021 01:41 AM

I would just do dovetails.

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1755 posts in 904 days


#4 posted 06-01-2021 01:47 AM

I would be making my large box joint as a pattern on the router table or with a cross cut sled and dado stack. Cutting 2 pieces for the leg and another 2 for the top. Ensure those fit together precisely. Clamp, or if slabs are being trimmed down, mount the pattern to both faces of the top and leg. Quadruple check I’m square in all directions. Then use a down shear double bearing bit to follow my patter. Something like the Amana 40797. Come back in with coping or fret saw and chisel to clean out the waist. If I was worried about my saw cut with the coping saw I might clamp down some aluminum guides…not super friendly to your saw blades but works. I’ve only been wood working for a couple years so maybe my way is terrible but if I was making that table that is how I would do it.

Or do like SMP said and cut some massive dove tails…my ambition is always greater than my skill so there is a 50/50 chance I would go this route.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6748 posts in 3559 days


#5 posted 06-01-2021 02:02 AM

Adapt this to your situation. Box joint would be great on the project.

https://youtu.be/8HKKc-kyGbo?t=112

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

2210 posts in 1429 days


#6 posted 06-01-2021 02:17 AM

What type of wood/finish?

This would play a role in what I use. For instance, if you wanted to carry the grain from a single board all the way through, I would probably do an offset glue up.

View BoilerUp21's profile

BoilerUp21

180 posts in 2017 days


#7 posted 06-01-2021 02:28 AM



Adapt this to your situation. Box joint would be great on the project.

https://youtu.be/8HKKc-kyGbo?t=112

- AlaskaGuy

This video is great! i will likely create templates and then use my flush trip router bit to follow them.

Using quarter sawn white oak and with the overall table size being 3’x5’, there is no table saw jig i feel like making to stand these pieces up vertically and use my dado blades.

Thanks

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8008 posts in 2637 days


#8 posted 06-01-2021 02:44 AM

I made a cabinet to fit under my lathe where I joined the carcass together with almost identical box joints. I made a very simple one-off router jig based upon one I saw in Woodsmith magazine (they have a video somewhere too). It turns out to be pretty fool proof and the finger joints fit perfectly.

I varied the width of the fingers slightly to make it slightly more interesting.
There is a little more info and pictures of the results in my build blog here. (see reply #4 for the woodsmith jig that inspired).

Let me know if you want more pictures of the jig or information about how the jig works.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

2164 posts in 976 days


#9 posted 06-01-2021 02:47 AM

^ I like that Nathan ^

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8008 posts in 2637 days


#10 posted 06-01-2021 02:58 AM

Thanks LRM. As I said it is nearly fool proof and I will definitely use this technique again. It was great for the large scale but the approach will work for standard sized finger joints as well.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4912 posts in 2744 days


#11 posted 06-01-2021 03:17 PM

+1 Make a large box joint jig
Woodsmith plans shows how to build an adjustable jig with replaceable backer baord, both of which comes in handy.

Notice the large overlap on fingers, it helps to keep things square. The t-track in middle not only allows for different finger widths, but makes adjustments easy. I found that I needed the fingers to be slightly smaller than gaps in certain woods or joint would be starved of glue being too tight. Was able to slide a piece of paper between fingers to solve the issue.
YMMV

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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Lazyman

8008 posts in 2637 days


#12 posted 06-01-2021 08:12 PM

Yep. ^That’s^ the jig that inspired my supersized jig. I basically just screwed the fingers to a 2×4 and a registration piece on the end, taking care that the fingers were square to the faces. For the one-off jig, I simply clamped a piece of 1/2” plywood between the board and the jig as a backer. When cutting, it was important to sort of skim the face between the fingers before cutting the rest of the way into the gap to prevent chip out. Here is a video on setup and use of the WS jig.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View BoilerUp21's profile

BoilerUp21

180 posts in 2017 days


#13 posted 06-01-2021 11:30 PM

Thanks everyone, i will look to make a similar jig.

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BoilerUp21

180 posts in 2017 days


#14 posted 08-22-2021 01:57 AM

So that jig was perfect and i think i will use this joint for other projects in the future. Still need to put another coat of poly and wax on, but very happy with how this office desk turned out for a client.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8008 posts in 2637 days


#15 posted 08-22-2021 02:11 AM

Nice job! I am glad that jig worked for you.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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